Department of Commerce Initiates AD/CVD Investigations of Welded Line Pipe from Korea and Turkey

On November 6, 2014, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) announced the initiation of antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of imports of welded line pipe from the Republic of Korea (Korea) and the Republic of Turkey (Turkey).  The initiation of investigations follows a petition by U.S. industry for relief from alleged market-distorting effects caused by injurious dumping and unfair subsidization of imports into the United States.

The petitioners for the investigations are: American Cast Iron Pipe Company (Birmingham, AL);
Energex, a division of JMC Steel Group (Chicago, IL); Maverick Tube Corporation (Houston, TX); Northwest Pipe Company (Vancouver, WA); Stupp Corporation, a division of Stupp Bros., Inc. (Baton Rouge, LA); Tex-Tube Corporation (Houston, TX); TMK IPSCO (Houston, TX); and Welspun Tubular LLC USA (Little Rock, AR).

The Petition alleges dumping margins of 48.49 to 202.31% for Korea and 9.85% for Turkey.  It also alleges “above de minimis” estimated subsidy rate for both countries.  De minimis is defined as less than 1% for developed countries and less than 2% for developing countries.

The merchandise covered by these investigations is circular welded carbon and alloy steel (other than stainless steel) pipe of a kind used for oil or gas pipelines (welded line pipe), not more than 24 inches in nominal outside diameter, regardless of wall thickness, length, surface finish, end finish, or stenciling. Welded line pipe is normally produced to the American Petroleum Institute (API) specification 5L, but can be produced to comparable foreign specifications, to proprietary grades, or can be non-graded material. All pipe meeting the physical description set forth above, including multiple-stenciled pipe with an API or comparable foreign specification line pipe stencil is covered by the scope of these investigations.

The initiation of the investigations officially opens the opportunity for interested parties to make comments to Commerce pertaining to the scope of the investigation.  Interested parties may include domestic importers, domestic producers or foreign producers.

The next step in the investigatory process is for The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to make a preliminary injury determination.  The ITC is scheduled to make its preliminary injury determinations on or before December 1, 2014.  If the ITC determines that there is a reasonable indication that imports of welded line pipe from Korea and/or Turkey materially injure, or threaten material injury to the domestic industry, the investigations will continue.  The next step would then be for Commerce to make its preliminary AD and CVD determinations. The preliminary CVD determination is currently scheduled for January 2015 and the preliminary AD determination is currently scheduled for March 2015. If the ITC’s preliminary injury determinations are negative, the investigations will be terminated.

In 2013, imports of welded line pipe from Korea totaled $554,057,000 and imports of welded line pipe from Turkey totaled $46,724,000.

If you have questions about this post or the scope of AD/CVD investigations, please contact Frohsin & Barger.